Judima Festival, Assam
The festival is named after Judima, the traditional rice brew of the Dimasa community, which is unique in taste, method of preparation and is an integral part of the social life.
Apart from being a symbolic celebration of rich cultural heritage of the district, the festival aims to initiate the idea of alternative livelihood to the local brewers and tourism among the ethnic groups residing in the district.
Bankim Haflongbar has lived all his life in Dima Hasao district of Assam’s upper Haflong area, but he has tasted judima – the traditional brew of the Dimasa tribal community – only thrice in his 30-plus years. The first time, shortly after birth, during his annaprashan. The second time, when he went to meet his bride-to-be. And the third time – at his own wedding.
The sweet tasting, golden coloured rice wine has a certain significance in Bankim’s world; it pumps through the lifeblood of the people in this geography – 16 tribes apart from the Dimasas, other Assamese people and Bengalis. Assam has filed a GI (geographical indication) registration for it. But even so, Bankim did not imagine a day would come when it would be the centre of a whole festival, such as the one launched in 2016, and that he would be one of the organisers.
One can savour various ethnic delicacies in the form of food, fabric and fabulous performances like traditional song, dance and sports which provide a glimpse of life and lore of people in the district. Rock concert to be performed by three leading rock bands from the region will also be organized as part of the cultural extravaganza. A bike rally is also being organized among enthusiasts.
Cultural tours are an added attraction for those interested in knowing about different ways of living in the lap of nature. Haflong as the only hill station in Assam and the district of Dima Hasao having almost 90 per cent of land undulated with hills, ridges and serpentine rapids provides ample scope for adventure events.